With online dating being the easiest way to meet people these days (world pandemic, anyone?), there is no time like the present to dive all in. Online dating is not only convenient, it’s safe— provided you choose a trusted site. In a world that is so scary right now, safety is a big deal for all of us.
Even though online dating is safe and convenient, we hear a lot of you when you tell us it just isn’t easy. So we took a deep look into what several people who seem to be having really good luck with it do.
As it turns out, there are quite a few hacks to making your online dating journey as smooth and fruitful as possible. For the seven below, we followed some advice found on Instagram from online dating gurus!
1. Spend time building a quality online profile
We’ve said it before and along with our Instagram friends, we’ll say it again, your profile may possibly be THE most important aspect of your online dating account.
Passively dating and don’t really care about finding someone serious? Then pass on this bit of advice and throw up a few blurbs about whatever on yours. But if you want to go all in, if you want to find the person that may be YOUR person, make your profile count.
Your online dating profile is the first impression you’re giving your potential daters. It’s the you that spent hours getting ready for a date in person, but over the internet. Potential prospects will either have a blah or wow factor when they come across your profile, so make it really stand out!
2. Send out at least one message a day (if not more!)
Whether you are talking seriously to one person, or still looking around, your outbox should be evidence that you’re really trying to make this work.
Online dating takes effort, and you can’t expect to have success if you’re not reaching out and starting conversations.
Start with a simple, “Hey, just checking in, how are you?.” Or, mention how neat someone’s profile picture is. Just talk to them! One of the great things about messaging every day is that it reminds you that there are real, live people on the other side of your computer screen.
Messaging often can make online dating a lot more fun and interesting. It will help you take an active role in managing your love life, instead of passively waiting for that love life to come to you.
3. Have a structure for your conversation ready
You don’t need a full timeline of what you will say when. However, this online dating hack works well if you plan at at least the first thirty seconds of how your conversation will go.
Whether talking online or over the phone, being prepared for the beginning of the conversation will boost you into a great momentum for the rest of your time talking together.
Jot down a few ideas, questions or thoughts about how you foresee the opening of the conversation going. Even if you don’t stick exactly to your scribbles, it will give you confidence in case you feel stuck.
Apparently (thanks Instagram!) the first thirty seconds of a conversation are the hardest. Who knew?
4. Share a phone call before you go on your first date.
Sure you’ve been thorough. You’ve messaged and chatted online for minutes and even hours at a time. That’s great.
But you want to make some sort of physical connection before you see each other for the first time. Hearing each other’s voices and seeing if you have, what was it IG calls it, “conversational connection” is really important.
So, if you are planning a meet-up (post pandemic, of course), just let your person know that you’d like to chat on the phone first if you haven’t already.
5. Say no gracefully
This is an interesting hack because it deals with something we often have to do, but don’t talk about much.
When Catholic dating, we are often looking for a particular person to invest our time in. Sometimes, when people reach out, it can be hard to know how to respond. While researching, we found that the best way to keep online dating positive is to gracefully bow out instead of just ghosting or rudely saying no.
Be kind and concise with everyone online, even those that aren’t quite your style.
6. Don’t take it too seriously
This tip seems to contradict everything we’ve told you about taking online dating seriously. So, allow me to explain.
You know the old adage that when you stop looking for or trying to obtain something, it often falls in your lap? Well, we aren’t telling you to sit back and do nothing, but what we are saying is to have fun doing it.
If you get so stressed about the “hows” of online dating, it’s going to stress you out. If you get easily upset when people don’t want to connect, it may skew your view of dating and prevent you from seeing the possibilities still there.
So, we’re saying to be serious about dating, but don’t take it too much to heart when something doesn’t work out. That’s usually a sign that there is something even better and you have to have an open heart and the flexibility to find it.
7. Be yourself
Instagram users have spoken and their gold nugget of wisdom is to be yourself. Trying too hard to be someone you’re not, or hiding behind a false exterior is a recipe for disaster when it comes to online dating.
If you aren’t honest from the beginning, any relationship that forms won’t be based on the real you. If you’re taking the time to put yourself online and to look for a good match, make sure you are letting them see the real you.
Hack your way into happiness
Just like there is no one right way to date in person, there’s no one right way to date online. Be smart about your online dating adventures, but don’t take it so seriously that you’re not having fun with it.
Life is meant to be lived joyfully, so use the hacks above, put a smile on, and enjoy your journey!